Google Introduces New Pixel Phones, Pixelbook, Google Home Devices

Today’s topics include Google’s launch of its Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 smartphones; the launch of Oracle’s Blockchain Cloud Service; Google’s addition of a custom role feature to its Cloud Identity and Access Management data access controls; and the passing of former Intel CEO Paul Otellini.

On Oct. 4, Google introduced a variety of new devices, including its Pixel 2 XL and Pixel 2 smartphones during a live-streamed launch event.

Otherwise nearly the same, the Pixel 2 XL distinguishes itself with a bigger 6-inch quad-HD pOLED display than Pixel 2’s 5-inch full HD AMOLED display as well as greater battery power. Both phones include Corning Gorilla Glass 5 display covers, Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 octa-core processors and the Adreno 540 graphics chips. Both also run on Android 8.0 Oreo.

In addition to the new phones, Google unveiled a new Pixelbook Chromebook, new Google Home devices, the latest Daydream View virtual reality headset, a new Clips camera and more.

Oracle has joined the emerging world of blockchain financial-exchange security IT with the launching of the Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service at OpenWorld 2017 this week. The advanced, enterprise-grade distributed ledger cloud platform enables customers to speed up the pace of business and reduce cost and risk by securely extending enterprise resource planning, supply chain and other enterprise software-as-a-service and on-premises applications to run tamper-resistant transactions on a trusted business network.

“Blockchain holds the promise to fundamentally transform how business is done, making business-to-business interactions more secure, transparent, and efficient,” said Amit Zavery, senior vice president of the Oracle Cloud Platform.

Oracle is the latest major IT provider to offer a blockchain cloud service; IBM and Microsoft have both been offering their own version for a while, and Big Blue launched its service a year ago.

Google announced on Oct. 3 the beta release of custom roles for Cloud Identity and Access Management, a feature that gives administrators more than 1,280 ways to grant users permissions to data and resources on Google's cloud.

Administrators can use the feature to enforce the principle of least privilege for users with custom roles or roles that are not predefined, Google Product Manager Rohit Khare said. Custom roles can be used to grant and manage permissions during projects, or during testing and maintenance related tasks when users may need access to specific resources not typically required in their usual roles.

Custom roles complement the existing support for role-based access control in Google Cloud Identity and Access Management, which offers support for what Google calls primitive roles and predefined roles.

Former CEO of Intel Paul Otellini died in his sleep Oct. 2 at the age of 66. He became Intel’s fifth chief executive officer in 2005, and under his leadership, the company transformed operations and cost structure for long-term growth; assumed a leadership position in the server market segment; and maintained profitability during the global recession. During his eight-year tenure, Otellini grew Intel’s revenue from $34 billion to $53 billion.

"We are deeply saddened by Paul’s passing," current Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said. "He was the relentless voice of the customer in a sea of engineers, and he taught us that we only win when we put the customer first."

Intel Chairman Andy Bryant said, "His tireless drive, discipline and humility were cornerstones of his leadership and live on in our company values to this day."